What is actually meant by environmental education? If you're looking for an answer to that question, you've come to the right place. A lack of Environmental awareness, environmentally harmful behaviors and the resulting environmental problems such as climate change, deforestation of rainforests or plastic waste in nature are ultimately the result of a lack of knowledge and education. So if we want to biggest environmental problems of our time If we want to find a long-term solution to the problem, the only way to do so is to promote education. Fortunately, this is exactly where the concept of environmental education comes in.
In this article, I would now like to introduce and explain everything you need to know about environmental education. From the definition, to benefits, measures and courses of study, to valuable everyday tips for sustainable development. Let's go!
Here you can find a short overview in advance:
Notice: So that we don't misunderstand each other - this is not only about the environmental education of children and young people, but also about the environmental education of adults! Because especially the older generations have to do detention in this respect 😉.
Definition - What is environmental education?
A good education is basically characterized by extensive knowledge and good education. Environmental education further refers especially to the Imparting ecologically relevant knowledge and the responsible handling of natural resources and the environment in general. So, in simple terms, it deals with the relationship between man and the environment.
"Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world."Nelson Mandela (more under Education quotes)
Environmental education is ultimately intended to educate children, youth and adults through the knowledge and Raising awareness of resource conservation, nature protection, or environmental pollution. encourage them to act in an ecologically sustainable manner and to adjust their behavior accordingly. Holistic experiential learning in and with nature is a central building block for this.
Tip: Further definitions for Technical terms around the topic of sustainability I have compiled a comprehensive wiki for you. Feel free to click through.
What are the benefits of environmental education?
Those who enjoy environmental education will - little by little -... from the cause to the solution of the greatest ecological challenges of our time.
But what would change positively in concrete terms if more and more people were environmentally and socially aware? living resource friendlybecause they know exactly, why environmental protection and sustainability are important?
Here I present you some plausible Advantages of long-term environmental education and the promotion of environmental awareness in our society:
- The environment is cleaner
- People live more naturally and healthier
- The global species extinction decreases again
- The climate change is decelerated
- Air quality (especially in urban areas) improves
- Future generations (children and grandchildren) are relieved of the burden
Tip: Why it is so is healthy to be often outside in natureYou can find out more about this in the linked article.
What environmental education activities are useful?
So now we have clarified the WHY. But what about the HOW? How can children and young people in particular be made aware in practice of local and global interrelationships and corresponding changes in behavior in their environment? Here I would like to briefly introduce you to some effective environmental education activities that promote closeness to nature.
Nature discovery trails
Teaching technical knowledge alone is not enough to prepare people to adapt their habitual behavior for ecological motives. The Nature must be experienced firsthandso that an emotional connection to it is created. Nature discovery trails now exist everywhere in Germany - they impart the necessary knowledge and ensure the experience-oriented perception of nature with all the senses.
Trips / Workshops / Classes / Excursions / Lectures
Even if the Environmental protection in school is not yet a concrete subject, the topic finds at least in biology or geography lessons has its place now and then. But that is not enough for goal-oriented environmental education. Trips and hikes in nature in combination with the practical knowledge transfer are the basis for real environmental education. Intensive workshops also bring children, young people and also adults closer to nature in a playful way.
Tip: If you want to know how to Can motivate children to spend more time in nature, then you get in the linked post helpful tips for it!
Boy Scout Troops
To my shame, I have to admit that I used to smile at Boy Scouts. But looking back, the joint excursions and group camps would have been ideal for forming a bond as early as possible. feel greater closeness to nature and to act accordingly more environmentally conscious. Closeness to nature, because you experience nature up close - from the day-night change and weather change, to the construction of a "teepee", only from natural materials.
Those who experience nature through play, experience it more intensive and sustainable. Through games such as "What am I?", for example with forest animals - or feeling the natural environment blindfolded - children and young people can acquire specialist knowledge "easily and playfully" and experience the diversity and beauty of our earth first-hand and impressively.
Do you know of any other meaningful environmental education games? Then I look forward to your ideas and suggestions in the comments column.
What environmental education degree programs are available?
The number of sustainable study programs is growing and growing! Of course, there are also corresponding offers for the field of environmental education at German universities.
The following courses are definitely recommended:
- Environmental Education (Bachelor of Arts) at the University of Education Weingarten
- Education - Sustainability - Transformation (Master of Arts) at the University for Sustainable Development Eberswalde (HNEE)
- Biodiversity and Environmental Education (Master of Science) at the Karlsruhe University of Education
- Education and Sustainability (Master of Arts) at the University of Rostock
Do you know of any other environmental education degree programs? Then feel free to write me a comment!
Environmental education - The solution to the environmental problems of our time
Imagine if everyone knew about the value of nature and could directly feel and see the negative consequences of their actions? Then we probably wouldn't be facing the massive ecological challenges we are now. Even if time cannot be turned back, we can at least actively participate in and positively influence the future.
Anchor sustainability in all areas of education is an important key to this. The political solution is to promote environmental education and initiate targeted environmental education measures. But each and every one of us is a role model - and can also promote ecological willingness to act beyond our own behavior and our own offspring.
I hope that I was able to introduce you to the concept of environmental education with this article. Do you have any questions, tips or further ideas? Then I look forward to your comments.
PS.: If environmental education and environmental education do not help fast enough, also the Nudging to promote sustainable action. How so-called nudges make our behavior (mostly subconsciously) more environmentally friendly, you will now learn in the linked article.